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My experience of Transgender & Inclusivity Awareness training & why it’s important for beauty pros

By Emma Hobday | 13 November 2021 | Expert Advice, Feature, Training

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It was an ordinary Monday morning when I logged on to Sam Marshall and Keri Blue’s Transgender and Inclusivity Awareness Training via Zoom. But little did I know that this ordinary morning was going to be turned upside down, with my eyes and mind about to opened in the most incredible way.

Who are Sam & Keri?

Sam Marshall (who presents as she/her) is an educator and beauty industry expert, and is known in the industry as The Beauty Guru. Keri Blue is a queer and non-binary barber (who presents as they/them) and is the founder of Hair Has No Gender, a business consultancy service that educates and informs barbershops and hair salons about the lack of diversity within the industry, and how to make salons a safe space whereby any client feels comfortable walking in for a haircut. Together, they make a powerhouse duo, and so I was excited to begin the training.

I had already met Sam and Keri a few days previously, where I had interviewed them about the Transgender & Inclusivity Awareness Training on a Facebook Live and had warmed to them immediately – they were friendly, open, chatty, completely happy to answer any questions I had, and we had a giggle about the Sam’s dog Maisey, (a cross between a Jack Russell and a Pug, or “a Jug!” said Sam) who was photo-bombing them, choosing to sit on the sofa right between the twosome.

How do I sign up?

The training was simple to sign up to. Sam emailed me a link to a JotForm, where I filled in quick and easy details, such as my name and pronouns, my email address, and the reason why I was attending the training. The course costs just £45 for two hours of training, and you can choose the most convenient date for you on a calendar at the end of the form. Once I clicked submit and had successfully signed up, JotForm emailed me confirmation of the webinar time and date, as well as a reminder of the answers I had provided in the form. Sam herself emailed me a Zoom link to the training the day before.

And so there I was on that Monday morning, in a group of approximately 10 people, in a broad range of age groups, all waiting to learn the training, being eagerly welcomed by Sam and Keri’s smiling faces.

The duo were keen to establish a feeling of trust within the group, making me feel like I’d met a bunch of new friends instead of strangers. “Anything you ask or put in the chat box is completely confidential,” said Keri. “This is a completely safe space.”

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Why is there a need for the training and what does it cover?

In Sam’s words, the training has been created to meet a much-needed gap in the industry and to help others increase their knowledge of working with trans and non-binary clients.

“The training focuses on transgender terminology, as often language can be the first barrier for the relationship between client and practitioner, as well as helping attendees to understand how to de-gender services, how to be a trans ally and how to market inclusively. The training also includes how to make your workplace trans-friendly and inclusive, catering to practitioners who may be trans or non-binary,” says Sam.

The training is also supported by Habia, The Federation of Nail Professionals and The British Beauty Council.

The pair proceeded with the training, explaining everything carefully and with thought and consideration, making sure they had the correct words or terms in mind before speaking them. They provided exercises that made you stop and think, detailed stats and figures into the world of transgender inclusivity (that provided a shock), stopping to answer questions and comments throughout, taking it in turns to let the other speak and explain.

What did I take away from the Transgender & Inclusivity Awareness Training?

The training is certainly eye-opening, and it will make you stop and consider things about inclusivity that you may not have previously thought about. You see things in the world of a trans or non-binary person, and you truly feel how much of a struggle life can be for them, whilst trying to be the person that they were born to be.

Sam and Keri make such a strong case for the power and crucial importance of inclusivity, whilst showing patience, understanding and kindness, even when they have not been necessarily shown it themselves. (Keri explained they’d had an experience where a person absolutely refused to use their correct pronouns, even when they were corrected, much to the group’s disbelief).

Being transgender is about your gender identity, and you couldn’t be in safer hands with these two professionals, who have made it their mission to make sure everyone’s identity is recognised and respected in the nail & beauty space.


Sign up to the Transgender & Inclusivity Awareness Training here.

Click here for The Beauty Guru website.

Click here for the Hair Has No Gender website.